70 Biker Tattoos: Best Designs and Meanings

Moto tattoo on shoulder, photo from:
Moto. The subculture appeared in the 50s in the United States. The values ​​and distinctive features of the direction were formed almost immediately.

Tattoo traditions were formed from army and prison culture. The set of symbols and their meaning have not changed their meaning to this day.


Originating in the 50s in America, the biker movement came to Russia already in the 70s and became an inseparable part of the lives of many people who not only have a passion for the road and bikes, but are also united by the idea of ​​close brotherhood and a sense of shoulder.

Until recently, the word “biker” made people imagine a bearded and muscular man in leather pants, a biker jacket, glasses and a bandana. Today you can find many clubs where bikers do not at all correspond to the stereotypical appearance. And the iron horses of this movement have changed a lot: now not only owners of choppers, but also lovers of classic sports motorcycles are considered bikers. Gender revolutions in society have also done their job, and no one will be surprised to meet a female biker.

Did you know? A motorcycle club for a biker is, if not the first, then certainly the second home. However, you need to be careful with tattoos of his logo. If a person leaves a motorcycle club without friction, he writes the date of exit under the logo. If the exit is associated with some negative nuances, the person may be asked to fill the logo with a new image. But the expulsion of a biker may be accompanied by a request to get rid of the drawing right here and now. Sometimes you can hear stories about tattoos being forcibly burned out of the skin.

Old school tattoo with biker meaning

Body art of the biker movement immediately became one of the identifying marks of this culture, aimed both at identifying like-minded people and at shocking civil society. The style of the images is usually associated with either American old school or realism. Biker tattoos, the meaning of which was largely determined by the ideology of the movement, still arouse interest and demand not only among bikers, but also among motorcyclists.

Three Bikers - Back Tattoo

Motorcycle brand

A common tattoo option is a brand or even a drawing of your favorite motorcycle.

Harley-Davidson is one of the most popular tattoo themes. The largest bike club is made up of fans of this particular brand. Nowadays, bikers are considered not only those who ride classic choppers, but also motorcyclists on sports bikes. But still, Harley-Davidson is the standard of the bike and therefore, people often get tattoos with the name of this particular brand or with the V-Twin engine. The engine has long become a symbol of Harley bikes.

In addition to classic motorcycles, other brands such as Yamaha, Honda, and Suzuki are also stocked.

Popular image options

No matter how diverse the biker tattoos are, photos of which you see below, the main ones are the following:

  • Scenes from the life of bikers, made with photographic realism. One of my favorites is the image of three motorcyclists standing like heroes in Vasnetsov’s painting.
  • The logo of the biker club to which the bearer of the tattoo belongs. A very common design that symbolizes loyalty, devotion and love for the motorcycle club and one’s brotherhood.
  • The slogan of the native club. Like the logo, it shows that a person is forever associated with a motorcycle club. Often the date of entry into society is written under the slogan.
  • Any variations of the image of a motorcycle, or its individual parts: wheel, steering wheel, pedal.
  • Motorcycle engine. It is often made in the shape of a heart and pricked on the chest, respectively.
  • The logo of the legendary and beloved Harley-Davidson.
  • Logo of your favorite motorcycle brand: Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki.
  • Tattoos in the style of “Ghost Rider”, “Hells Angels” and other cult films.
  • Burning fiery red trail from the bike wheels, tongues of flame.
  • Images embodying the symbolism of the road and travel.
  • The horizon line, personifying the craving for freedom.
  • Wings and eagles, also indicating a love of free life.
  • The Confederate flag, indicating the nonconformity of the biker movement.
  • Scull. For lovers of speed, this image is a symbol of fearlessness in the face of death and danger.
  • "1%" emblem. She became popular after a speech that only one percent of bikers are lawbreakers and are at odds with society. This is the designation of a person rebelling against society.
  • Iron Cross. Wearing it previously signified disagreement with American official authority.
  • Death while driving a bike. Another kind of amulet.
  • Swastika. Her image among motorcycle enthusiasts is ambiguous. Some of the bikers may indeed belong to nationalists and Nazis and have right-wing views. However, many choose symbols to shock society, or because this sign is usually depicted in their club.
  • Images depicted in honor of memorable events or people respected by the owner of the drawing.

Biker tattoo in the form of a skull with a dagger in the bone

The meaning of biker tattoos

The symbolism was influenced by the aviation theme, as the first riders in motorcycle competitions were fighter pilots. Therefore, biker symbolism is filled with the image of wings or birds.

Biker tattoos are created for people with a strong spirit. Not every person can devote all their free time to a motorcycle and club members. Therefore, tattoo ideas are suitable only for those who are ready to defend their own beliefs and the honor of the club.

At a certain point, the meaning of biker tattoos merged with the rocker trend. Bikers say that being a member of the club is not enough to get the appropriate tattoo.

It is necessary to have a free soul and a heart working in unison with the engine. Then the body image will have a special meaning and will become the pride of the owner. Traditional biker tattoos are performed in the style of old school, lettering and realism.

Skull image

The popularity of the skull image among bikers is due to the connection of this symbolism with the theme of danger and death. In most cases, this connection is interpreted not as negative, but as positive: it is a talisman, a sign of courage and fearlessness, and the personification of future changes.

This is interesting. There is a belief that Death leaves his mark - the image of a skull - on those whom he takes with him. However, if someone already has a creepy symbol, she believes that she was visiting him and does not approach the bearer of the amulet.

Skeleton behind a bike

Chicano style sleeves

Often a sleeve tattoo in the Chicano style does not end at the wrist, but continues on the hand. The style has its own distinctive characteristics:

Firstly, the tattoo is done using the greywash technique (smooth transitions and play of shadows). Secondly, the tattoo has clear contours. Thirdly, the same plot attributes are present in the form of a collage: cards, money, patterned inscriptions, roulettes, crowns as symbols of power, blooming roses and weapons.

Many compositions feature portraits of girls with their faces painted in the manner of Latin American street gangs.

Color spectrum

Since the biker movement is already relatively middle-aged, its age leaves its mark on the favorite colors in tattoos. At the time when motorcyclists painted their first images, only forming this style, there could not be a special choice of colors, and therefore the body painting was monochrome black.


I think that a biker without a tattoo is not really a biker. I put a roaring engine on my chest so that anyone could immediately understand what kind of oil flows through my veins. Thanks to the master, the work turned out amazing.

Vlad, Vitebsk

Biker sleeve

Today, many fans of iron horses, following tradition, choose the same black and white color scheme. Sometimes the designs are complemented with blood red, fiery blue and neon green shades. But there are also lovers of progress, whose tattoos shimmer with the most incredible colors.

If you are interested in biker tattoos, you can see sketches of a wide variety of tattoos in our article.

Blackwork sleeves

We should not forget that blackwork is also the last chance to become creative if you have an old tattoo that cannot be removed with a laser or corrected using the coverup method (applying a new tattoo over the old one).

In essence, the Blackwork style is coverup, only more progressive and 100% effective. A large area is covered with a dense black paint, and a pattern, often geometric, is placed on top of the paint with a white coloring pigment (paint). The end result is very nice.

Choosing a location

Naturally, the most popular and classic area for tattoos among motorcyclists is the shoulder, a win-win option for a voluminous and noticeable image.

It is not uncommon to see designs on the chest and back, as well as the inside of the arm and shins. Another interesting trend among fanatical motorcycle fans is a tattoo on a bald head, and, curiously, this option is popular among both men and women.

Biker tattoo on arm


Since childhood, I have had a love for bikes, so I connected my lifestyle with them very early on. Of course, I also have biker tattoos: my shoulder is filled with a skull framed in fire. And on the back there is a picture of a motorcyclist rushing beyond the horizon.

Ilya, Voronezh

Realistic sleeves

In the Realism style, images with representatives of the earth’s fauna, or, more simply, animals, are very popular. Just like portraits and images of people (or warriors). This is the only style that can fully reveal the boundless beauty of a tattoo, making the images come alive.

Realism is a high-level, professional style, which is mastered by truly real artists, and not masters of 2-week courses, even with a lot of practice. Artists mean people who can easily create both a work on leather and oil on linen canvas. These are people with a natural talent for fine art.

Oriental style sleeves

It is also a Japanese style with which men associate themselves with the legendary samurai warriors or the powerful Yakuza crime clan. In any case, a man highlights for himself and informs others about such qualities as fearlessness, perseverance and blind devotion to any life rules.

In the subject of a sleeve tattoo composition for men, images of a blossoming chrysanthemum, river carp, and samurai masks are popular.

Celtic style sleeves

The Scandinavian theme of patterns became very popular after the release of the epic series “Vikings”. Many men wanted to compare themselves to the characters in the film and feel the spirit of an ancient religion, with cultural heritage in the form of intertwining patterns.

In addition to patterns, Celtica is replete with its Scandinavian symbols, such as the Celtic cross, Thor's hammer, valknut, runes, and runic compass.

In addition to symbols, images of animals and birds are woven into the tattoo sleeve in the Celtic style: dogs, wolves, ravens (Odin).

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